The ‘F’ Word

Y’all, Pearl is fat.

Shhhh!!!! Don’t tell her!

She’s gained a pound since Christmas, which is a lot on a 25-lb dog.

Everybody gives me grief about her girth.

Pugs are supposed to be round and bubbly, but she has become increasingly more rotund as the months have passed, and I notice it most acutely in the mornings when she’s standing on my chest to wake me up.

It’s hard to breathe, yo!

Back in the fall when I started this raw diet thing, I was definitely over-feeding. I was guessing. I couldn’t get anybody to discuss with me how much I needed to be feeding, so I based it on the feeding guide on the side of the kibble bag. I got conflicting info on the Internet. I left several messages for any of the doctors at my vet clinic to call me, and I never got a return phone call. (Nice). I even made several attempts to reach a canine nutrition “expert” at one of the big box stores. Everybody ignored me. Dr. Natalie was the first person who was willing to take the time to shed a little light on the subject.

Dogs on a raw diet don’t need to eat as much as dogs on kibble to meet their nutritional needs. So, I trimmed it back. In fact, I reduced the amount I was feeding every day by half.

That was just before Christmas. Why are they all porked up after cutting their consumption in half?

I think it’s the smoothies, which are mostly fruit, which makes them delectable for Miss Pearl’s sweet tooth, but super high-cal.

Before I attended Raw Roundup 2015, I was just rough chopping their fruits & veggies. When Dr. Ian Billinghurst explained that any plant material must be “pulverized” to be of any benefit to a dog, I began with the smoothies, and it’s been in that period of time that they have packed on the extra LB’s.

So I think before that time, the fruit & vegetables were just wasted on them. The nutrition and calories passed through the dogs, creating a rainbow of color out the back end, certainly, but not being absorbed. In the past couple of months, however, with the onset of Spring and the opening of the Farmer’s Market, the fruit has been plentiful, and the smoothies are working a number on the waistline because the nutritive elements are actually being absorbed.

What to do? How to adjust?

For one thing, we are going to switch to more veggies and less fruit. More green and less sweet. More broccoli, zucchini, and kale, and less strawberries and bananas.

We are also going to dilute the goat’s milk with a little bit of water. Raw fermented goat’s milk is so good for them, I will not eliminate it, but it makes up a big chunk of calories per serving, and perhaps stretching it with a bit of H2O will help us out.

And, we are going to reduce the serving size from 4oz per dog to 3. All of that coupled with our daily walks should take care of the problem.

We’ll keep you posted.

pugs & kisses,

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